LETTERS: Trail safety concerns – Another unlawful confinement by hospital

June 30, 2022

Accidents waiting to happen?

The following letter requesting improved signage on trails was sent to Town Councillors in April, and referred to the Town’s Public Safety Committee meeting on May 11, 2022, where Town Engineer Bob Weir dismissed any safety concerns, adding that “the first problem is that we can’t get traffic marking paint… from the source company in the USA.” Really? There’s only one source on the continent? — Editor

Dear Councillors,

Re: Public safety on our multi-use pathways and trails

Our multi‐use paved trails are frequently used by a large and diverse population including tourists. There have been conflicts, near miss accidents between cyclists, dog walkers and others. With the fast development of electric bicycles, more frequent incidents will happen simply because there is a serious lack of signalization on the surfaces.

THE PROBLEM:   There is no “standardized” or uniform ways of proceeding on the trails.   Should we walk/cycle on the right or left side? Lot of different opinions creating chaos here! Dogs on much too long leashes also create hazard to cyclists!

THE SOLUTION:  Please pay close attention to the enclosed photo.  See that the pedestrians are asked to stay on the left side — facing oncoming cyclists — just like how pedestrians should walk on the left side on our roads. Please discuss and encourage staff to implement marking and signs on our multi‐use trails for this coming summer.

Please ask Mr. Bob Weir from Engineering to look at this too.  Mr. Luke Sales is a fervent cyclist too.  

This is very urgent!  With more people getting electric bicycles, we will see more riders going so fast that accidents will happen between riders and dog walkers.   Please remember that many a new “electric bike rider” will be someone who has not ridden a bike for 30 years or more.   And now, with little experience, they will be going fast among pedestrians (left and right) unaware of them coming.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT:  Think forward. Implement good signage to recommend safer and uniform usage of our multi‐use trails. Suggestion:  big signs at eye level reminding dog walkers to keep their dogs on short leashes because cyclists come fast and silent.

A short reply will be appreciated.   Thanks.

Bertrand Girard, Qualicum Beach

Woman had to hire a lawyer to release husband from unlawful confinement by hospital

The following is an excerpt from a longer letter sent to B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie on June 16, 2022, a copy of which was sent to Second Opinion QB. — Editor

Dear Isobel Mackenzie and staff of the Seniors Advocate office,

I see on your website that your office is launching a study regarding long-term care, and I applaud you for that. In that vein, I’m writing to you to ask you to please do something to end the nightmare that is currently being lived by Trevor and Eileen Wicks of Qualicum Beach. I know you’ve received letters from others about this, and I have seen the replies to those letters, so I would ask you to also please tell me about the concrete steps your office will take to help this couple be reunited as per their wishes. 

Five years ago my husband was illegally certified as a danger to himself and others and removed from our local hospital to the psychiatric unit at the Comox Hospital, where he remained for three weeks before being transported to the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. For the next six months I fought to have him released from the Jubilee so I could take him back home. I succeeded only after I hired a lawyer to contest his incarceration in the Jubilee.

So, I know what it is to have one’s spouse taken from one for no justifiable reason and what an enforced stay in hospital does to someone with dementia, and to the person who has been with them and looking after them for all of their married lives. Therefore, I have great concern when I see it happening to someone else.

Please help the Wicks. Please work toward making concrete changes in policies that currently allows our medical system to detain spouses of those who have legal representation agreements due to unproven allegations or for questionable reasons. 


Jocelyn Reekie, Vancouver Island

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